Dundee United forward Lawrence Shankland reveals all on reported Sunderland interest last summer
Shankland was heavily linked with a move to Sunderland last summerby Sean McCormick
Lawrence Shankland has revealed he would have held talks about signing for Sunderland last summer, although an offer from the Black Cats was never forthcoming.
Sunderland were heavily linked with a move for Shankland last year after his contract expired at Ayr United.
The 24-year-old scored an incredible 34 goals in 41 games as his unfancied side reached the Scottish Championship play-offs and it was reported that Sunderland were keen to sign Shankland on a free transfer.
Clubs in the English Championship, Celtic, Rangers and even clubs in the Bundesliga were reportedly keen to sign Shankland, so eyebrows were raised when he chose to join fellow Scottish Championship side Dundee United.
The goals have continued, though, and his 28 strikes in 33 appearance helped fire the Terrors to the Scottish Championship title. Shankland has also earned two caps for Scotland this term, scoring his first Tartan Army goal against San Marino during his second cap.
Meanwhile, Sunderland's forwards have floundered in front of goal with the Black Cats sitting in seventh place in the League One table. It is clear Phil Parkinson's side could have done with Shankland's goals but how close were they to actually signing the Scotland international?
In truth, not very, as Shankland has revealed the links purely arose because he had worked with the then-Sunderland boss Jack Ross during a loan spell at St Mirren, and he never actually held any talks about moving to the Stadium of Light.
"I think they maybe watched me a few times but it was more people putting two and two together because I had worked with Jack Ross before," Shankland told What the Falk! podcast.
"As soon as there was rumours it made people think there was something in that and it was made more than what it was.
"There wasn't an official offer made or anything for me to turn down. It didn't go that far.
"If they were interested I didn't really hear about it."
When asked whether any of Sunderland's Scottish players had asked him about possibly moving to Wearside, Shankland replied: "It wasn't like that.
"It wasn't as if someone at the club even mentioned it at all. There was nothing in it at all.
"The only thing in it was that I had worked with Jack Ross before and he was the manager there at the time. That was the connection somebody obviously made but there was nothing in it."
Nonetheless, had Sunderland made an offer Shankland admits he wouldn't have hesitated to hold talks about making the move south of the border.
"Sunderland are obviously a massive club. That goes without saying," he added.
"Everybody knows about them and everybody who has watched the Netflix thing would have heard of them.
"But hypothetically speaking it is hard to say. But if Sunderland were interested in you, you would obviously speak to them .
"It is hard to say. It's a weird thing being a footballer speaking about someone being interested in you when they are not.
"But if they had come calling I obviously would have spoken to them."
You can listen to the full podcast with Shankland on his career so far, right here.